Bullying: A Big Complicated Problem with Many Simple Solutions

If each one of us untangled one string at a time...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mike Ollis: A Young Leader Who Gave His Life For Us

Time heals...but anniversaries trip us up and bring us back to that horrible day 12 years ago.

This anniversary brings a new wound for one Staten Island family that may never heal.  Today is the day their son's body returned from Afghanistan.  He was 24.

Mike Ollis was a great kid.  I mean really great. He looks tough in his military photo but I'll always remember him as the 14-year old riding down to the beach community where we lived to see his best buddy, Robert.  

There are no words except to say that Mike was always a leader, even as that teenager with a quick smile and warm style. 

Now he's made the ultimate sacrifice.  

Please keep Staff Sgt. Mike Ollis and his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers on this very difficult day. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Kindergarten: Good Time to Create Good School Relationship

There are four strings in the tangled ball of bullying that I think are really important:

•  Early Prevention

•  Parenting

•  Parent-School Relationship

•  Role of the Bystander (Upstander!)

I thought of all four of these as I watched the first day of Kindergarten unfold at a school in my neighborhood.

Kindergarten is such a beautiful milestone.  The kids are adorable and excited and the parents are interested in getting them on the right path.

In other words, everyone is anxious to be at their best so it becomes a huge teachable opportunity for the kids and the adults!  Kindergarten teachers have a big job.  They teach kids everything from tying their shoes to reading...but they're also teaching the parents how to be "school ready" and how to get involved in their children's education.

Part of that education is how the kids treat each other (early prevention and becoming upstanders) but also how parents (parenting) should interact with the school and how the school should communicate with the parent (parent-school relationship).

Does your school encourage a healthy parent/school relationship?

Please share the good and/or the bad.  It's one of the key ingredients to a successful school career and we can all learn from each other.